Daily Archives: 6/22/2002

Bad Officiating Gifts South Korea Another Win

Spain throughly dominated South Korea and they put in two goals that were called back. The second goal that was called back was an embarrassingly bad call by the linesman. As you would think he would know by now, the ball has to completely cross the end line before being called out. In this case, only the slightest bit of the ball crossed the line. Sad, sad, sad.

The reason FIFA gave for having linesman (assistant referees in their new terminology) from countries like Uganda and Trinidad is that they wanted to go with alleged specialists and they wanted to involve more countries. However, they ended up bringing in weak referees with little to no experience in calling fast-paced, important games. The end result is that the officiating at this World Cup is the poorest in memory by far. I think it’s fine to include referees and assistants from the smaller nations, but please don’t include them just because you feel like everyone has to be included in the final tournament. Use them in the earlier rounds of qualifying and bring them in to the finals only if they show they prove they are capable. I don’t know who auditioned these guys, but his skills should be called into question, too.

The officiating bias for South Korea in this match was at least as bad as in Korea-Italy. However, while Italy was struggling to hold off Korea at the end, Spain continued their domination of Korea from end to end in this match. South Korea is a very talented team, but these two victories are seriously tarnished in my eyes. Neither were well deserved.

The Korean fans are obviously still bitter about the short track speedskating event at the Olympics where a Korean arguably broke the rules by skating off his line into the path of Ohno and was disqualified. The Korean who scored against the US somehow felt he was getting back at the US after scoring the goal by imitating the Korean short track loser. That might have been an iffy call, as it looked like the Korean had a strong enough lead to win. But it was short track, for crying out loud. That sport is about as important as mud wrestling. The call at the Olympics pales in comparison in import, number, and justification to the calls the second rate linesman at the World Cup have handed to Korea on a silver platter.

If the bad calls by the linesman weren’t enough, the referee then let the Korean goalie take two hops forward off his line before stopping Joaquin’s shot. Admittedly Joaquin’s attempt was very poor, but that doesn’t change the fact that the goalie cheated off his line. The kick should have been retaken.